And Then What ?
Once more I wish to share with you a piece sent in by my favorite letter to the editor writer.
7 December 2006
Dear Editors and Members of Congress:
President Bush has maintained we are winning the war against terrorism; but, when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates testified at confirmation hearings Mr. Gates asserted we are not winning in Iraq. They are both correct, if the president was thinking strategically and the secretary tactically.
Military strategy can be defined as military activities which extend beyond the war zone; whereas, military tactics are confined to military activities in the battle area.
The war within Iraq is a work in progress. As such, it is too soon for us to achieve victory or suffer defeat. President Bush's strategic assessment recognizes the global reach of the war forced on us by devout Muslims (aka Islamic extremists); and it can be argued we are doing well strategically, because the president has chosen the location of the battlefield. As our commander-in-chief immediately after the 9/11 attacks, he sent troops straight to the Middle East rather than hunker down here at home.
In World War II, President Roosevelt overcame isolationist congressmen and sent our armed forces to hunt down our enemies in the Pacific, North Africa and Europe. In that war, aside from Pearl Harbor and the Aleutians the war was not fought in the United States. In the Korean War, we fought Mao, Stalin and their puppet Kim Il Sung in Korea, not here. Likewise in the Vietnam War we fought the war there, not here.
So long as we continue to prosecute the war vigorously in the Middle East, our Muslim enemies are less likely to attack us effectively here at home or elsewhere around the world. If they attack other nations (e.g., Great Britain), our coalition forces will only grow larger and more determined.
We should not be distracted by the tactical picture. And those who criticize the president for not having a plan for the aftermath of Saddam Hussein's fall should explain their own plans for our security if we abandon the battlefield within Iraq. Where should we fight next, Syria? Iran? Michigan?
Francis Baker, Three-War Vet